Week 5! The time is flying.
New unit: COUNTING. We started with The Name Song, then did the Little Mouse, Little Mouse color/counting/guessing rhyme from last week (note: I always hide the mouse before they come in. My pieces are magnetic, too). They were so excited to play this game again! We’ll use it one more time before changing it up. Patterns and repetition works with the littles.
Stories included another Pete the Cat – this time, with his four groovy buttons. And Doreen Cronin’s counting adventure Click Clack, Splish Splash gave good opportunity to talk about what was actually happening in the story and why it was happening. Why were the ducks sneaking? Why was it important that the farmer was sleeping? Building in opportunities for children to think and wonder about their reading at a young age will serve them well as they grow as readers.
You may notice our main slide doesn’t include much of this work. Why? Too many words/images. I keep it simple for the pre-K’s visual needs. More isn’t always better.
Author study: Peter Brown. Intro song: The Name Song. This week: My Teacher is a Monstert! (no, I am not). No image was put on the slide…and here’s why: I forgot! Noticing this error before the class came in, I could’ve added it, but I chose to use it as a thinking question moment. After sitting down, students talked with knee-neighbors about what they think a teacher-monster would look like. Ideas included sharp teeth, rough skin, purple or green, big size, pointy nails and more. This was a perfect way to build an open-ended question into the lesson and engage all students.
Know that each week, prior to check out, we review expectations related to self-checkout and locating books (using our shelf marker, how to scan the barcodes, etc). It takes 2-3 minutes, but I’m taking time at the beginning to reinforce and review. One of my favorite sayings in teaching is “go slow to go fast.” Slow down at the beginning of the year (and week 5 is still the beginning!) and work with intention to teach the skills and behaviors you really value and that will ultimately benefit the child.
Grades 2, 3, 4:
Emoji Scavenger Hunt! After last year’s Pokemon Go to the Library hunt, I chose to edit the clues and streamline the hunt into a single hunt for all grades. What I learned: it was perfect for grade 3 learners, a little too easy for grade 4 and too long (though not too hard) for grade 2. But, my assessment was informal: at the end, students were asked if they found a space in the library that they didn’t know about…and 95% of students answered YES. Success, even if they didn’t complete the hunt.
Students did the hunt with a teacher-selected partner. The reasons partners are teacher-selected are many, but the big ones are: 1 – it eliminates fretting over “who will be my partner?”; 2 – it keeps kids focused on directions, as they’re not fretting about finding a partner; 3 – students who need specific partners (a strong reader with a student who struggles; a student who speaks Italian with the student who speaks multiple languages) can be placed together and not left out.
Full procedures for how to do the hunt are found in the Pokemon link above, including a timeline of how it looks in a 40 minute class.
This year there was a bonus question: if students finished early, they were to think of a clue I could’ve asked. There were some great ones: where the family photos are hanging, where the daily directions are found, a cozy spot with a rooftop. These are all places in our library that they found important and meaningful. I’d also include the E section (who knows why I left it out!), poetry, and more nonfiction.
Questions? Wonders? Please ask. Cheers, y’all! –arika